LOS ANGELES - Parties to a proposed $12.25 million limited-fund, mandatory class settlement for pelvic mesh injury claims against Caldera Medical Inc. on Sept. 19 told a California federal judge that after a court-ordered analysis of the company's liquidation value, it has a negative liquidation value and can contribute nothing more to the settlement (Federal Insurance Company v. Caldera Medical, Inc., et al., No. 15-393, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney on Sept. 16 filed a petition in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing en banc with regard to the Second Circuit's prior decision that affirmed a lower court's ruling that a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney committed fraud when they won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for alleged injuries related to the company's involvement with an oil consortium (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 14-826 [consolidated with] Chevron Corporation v. Hugo Gerardo Camacho Naranjo, No. 14-832, 2nd Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A couple's evidence placing two defendants' products aboard U.S. Navy ships does not establish causation under maritime law, a federal magistrate judge held Sept. 16 in recommending that the court grant summary judgment (Jimmy R. Mitchell and Connie Mitchell v. Atwood & Morill Co., et al., No. 15-958, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115210).
NEW ORLEANS - The mere fact that a man and his co-workers cannot identify a company that allegedly supplied asbestos-containing products to their employer does not preclude recovery or justify finding the defendant improperly joined, a federal judge in Louisiana held Sept. 14 in granting emergency remand (William Gregory Bozeman v. Wyeth Holdings Corp., et al., No. 16-14606, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124713).
DALLAS - Efforts by a copyright infringement and false advertising plaintiff to obtain a temporary restraining order barring the construction of a single-family home were unsuccessful Sept. 16, when a Texas federal judge denied the request (The Joseph Paul Corporation d/b/a The Joseph Paul Homes v. Trademark Custom Homes, Inc., et al., No. 16-1651, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126206).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 16 gave reorganized Chapter 11 debtors Specialty Products Holding Corp. and affiliate Bondex International Inc. three more months to object to non-asbestos claims so the debtors can continue negotiating resolutions for several tax claims (In re: Specialty Products Holding Corp., et al., No. 10-11780, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA - A dispute over the Buck Rogers character will proceed with allegations of federal trademark dilution intact, but without a related state law claim, in light of a "divergence between the Lanham Act and Pennsylvania trademark law," according to a Sept. 16 ruling by a Pennsylvania federal judge (The Dille Family Trust v. The Nowlan Family Trust, No. 15-6231, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126191).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An administrative assistant who was terminated following an independent operations audit failed to show that her firing was actually due to her age and not because many of her duties had been automated, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 14 (Sharilyn Haggenmiller v. ABM Parking Services, Inc., No. 15-3107, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16787).
BALTIMORE - An underlying plaintiff is not entitled to coverage under policies issued to the owner of a rental property where she allegedly sustained damages as a result of lead paint because the underlying plaintiff is not an insured or a beneficiary under the policies at issue and because the policies at issue were rescinded pursuant to an agreement between the insurer and insureds, a Maryland federal judge said Sept. 15 (CX Reinsurance Co. Ltd. v. Stewart J. Levitas, et al., No. 15-2174, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125390).
PHILADELPHIA - Parties in a Zoloft birth defect appeal pending in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 stipulated to the dismissal of drug information provider Wolters Kluwer Health Inc. (In Re: Zoloft [Sertraline Hydrochloride] Products Liability Litigation, No. 16-2247, 3rd Cir.).
TROY, Mich. - No coverage is owed to an insured seeking coverage for a damaged roof because the cause of the damage was wet rot, which is clearly an excluded cause of loss under the applicable policy, the Michigan Court of Appeals said Sept. 15 (Michigan Battery Equipment Inc. v. EMCASCO Insurance Co., No. 326945, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 1720).
BOSTON - A drug manufacturers' organization on Sept. 17 asked a federal district court to allow it to submit an amicus curiae brief in support of an acquittal or new trial for two former drug company executives convicted of adulterating and misbranding a medical device (United States of America v. William Facteau, et al., No. 15-10076, D. Mass.).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer based on its policy's pollution endorsement because it is not clear that the endorsement excludes coverage for all of the underlying claims alleged against an insured, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 16 (Federal Insurance Co. v. Northfield Insurance Co., No. 14-20633, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17008).
ABERDEEN, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Sept. 16 awarded summary judgment to Allstate Indemnity Co., ruling that a man's misrepresentations on his policy application regarding the ownership of a property that sustained fire damage and his failure to inform the company of prior insurance claims warrant voiding the policy (Allstate Indemnity Company v. Terry W. Richey III, et al., No. 15CV00073-NBB-DAS, N.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126385).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying a claim for coverage under a homeowners insurance policy pursuant to the policy's earth movement exclusion for damage caused by a rockfall, a federal judge in Utah ruled Sept. 15, because the policy was not ambiguous and did not provide coverage for such an event (Western United Insurance Co., d/b/a AAA Insurance Co., v. Janelle Heighton, et al., No. 14-435, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125598).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 15 trimmed claims in a class complaint accusing New Jersey officials of orchestrating a scheme, referred to as "Bridgegate," to cause a traffic jam by closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge (GWB) in September 2013 without prior notice and denied a motion for class certification as premature (Zachary Galicki, et al. v. State of New Jersey, GW Car Service LLC, et al. v. State of New Jersey, et al., No. 14-169, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126076).
SEATTLE - A majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurer had a duty to defend its insured against underlying claims that its misleading marketing, wrongful admission to a behavior modification residential program, poor educational services and negligent training contributed to a teen's suicide (Judith Newman v. United Fire & Casualty Co., No. 14-35103, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17013).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 14 affirmed the denial of a woman's motion for a new trial, holding that even though a judge erred in allowing testimony that inculpated the defendant, there was sufficient evidence to support her conviction of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to submit fraudulent insurance bills (United States of America v. Theresa Fisher, No. 15-50306, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16830).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no coverage for the Tennessee attorney general's lawsuit against the provider of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy because the insured made material misrepresentations on its insurance application (Dan Hale, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 15-6443, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17034).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 15 stayed claims asserted by consumers for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligent misrepresentation and other causes of action asserted against a seller of snack foods pending the outcome of a decision by the Food and Drug Administration on the use of the word "natural" on product labels (In re: Kind LLC "Health and All Natural" Litigation, Nos. 15-MD-2645 [WHP],15-MC-2645 [WHP], S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125752).
TRENTON, N.J. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit in New Jersey federal court separately moved to dismiss the claims against them on Sept. 13, arguing that shareholders failed to plead any actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation in making their federal securities law claims (In re Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-7658, D. N.J.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal magistrate judge in Minnesota on Sept. 15 consolidated a pair of securities class action lawsuits against Target Corp. and certain of its executive officers and appointed the law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd as lead counsel (In re Target Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 16-1315, D. Minn.).